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New UPSC sister on board

BobbieAnn
Posts: 11
Joined: Aug 2010

My mother was recently diagnosed with UPSC Stage IIIc2. She is 69 years old. Prior to this she was very active and healthy. She had a radical hysterectomy on August 9th, 2010 and has done extremely well (with the exception of constipation). She has also become extremely depressed and finding it really hard to focus. I seem to be floundering with how to help her. I have read several of these threads and have found them to be very helpful for me. Maybe she will also find them helpful at some point. They are currently setting her up for 6 tx of chemo. She is very concerned about being sick during chemo as she gets nauseated very easily. Hope all goes well as I am afraid she will not complete her treatments.

jazzy1's picture
jazzy1
Posts: 1385
Joined: Mar 2010

Happy your mom made it thru the surgery as I had the same. I think with any type of surgery drpression can be a side-affect, but with time she should pull thru. If not, ask the doc for some meds to help lift her spirits.

What drugs for chemo? I'll tell you I was a bit naucious but given 3 different types of meds to help. In fact the last 3 chemo sessions I didn't use any meds. Not as bad as you might think, but offer smaller meals and drink lots of water as your do become dehydrated easily. I'm and exercise gal, and up and out the door as much as possible to move, which helps aleviate constipation, too. Take the recovery in small steps and before you know it she'll be feeling better.

Good luck to you for supporting your mom...sound like such a caring daughter!!
Jan

BobbieAnn
Posts: 11
Joined: Aug 2010

Thanks for responding to my post. I am very new at this process and am grateful for any advise that you can send my way. The chemo drugs are carboplatin and taxol. Not sure if I am spelling them correctly. Visited with the nurse today and she indicated they would do their best to keep mom from getting nauseated during chemo.

I am sure that you all know this, but just being able to share my thoughts, concerns, and everything else that is going through my mind at this time is unexpected comfort.

jazzy1's picture
jazzy1
Posts: 1385
Joined: Mar 2010

This group of women is the greatest support in the world. I don't know how I managed without them, as have arms around me and shoulders to cry on if need be.

I was on same drugs as your mom will be on. Yes you do have some tummie upset but really it wasn't too bad for me. Just don't overdo with foods and eat little amounts and take the meds they prescribe to help her. Also don't be timid about asking the office staff at the docs office questions....I gained so much knowledge from those gals.

Plse come back and visit, ask lots of questions, and know we're all here to help and comfort each other.

Best to you and take care of your loving mom!
Jan

kkstef's picture
kkstef
Posts: 706
Joined: May 2008

I am sorry to hear about your Mother, but am very happy that you have found this board. Everyone here is most willing to answer questions and provide support.

It sounds like your Mother is progressing physically, and a bit of depression is really quite normal.

About chemo.....there are lots of threads on this Board commenting on receiving chemo and things that helped, etc. Check them out. In all honestly, I did not have any nausea while getting chemo but a few times after chemo I felt a little queasey. They do a very good job these days managing that aspect of chemo. I found that nibbling on ginger cookies seemed to quiet my tummy down.... You might have her try that.

Let us know how we can be helpful and don't hestitate to ask any questions that pop into your mine!

Hugs to you and your Mom!!

Karen

Ro10's picture
Ro10
Posts: 1579
Joined: Jan 2009

I too am sorry to hear about your Mother's diagnosis. I too was diagnosed with Stage III-C UPSC. I too was concerned about nausea with chemo, as I too have a sensitive stomach. I did not have any nausea. They give such good pre-chemo drugs to prevent nausea. My doctor also prescribed decadron and compazine for 3 days afterwards to prevent nausea. I was surprised that I had not nausea. My appetite was not effected at all by the chemo either. I thought I would lose weight, but did not.

Hope your Mother continues to recover from her surgery. Take care of yourself also. We are here to answer any questions you or your Mother may have. In peace and caring.

RGW
Posts: 60
Joined: Mar 2010

Ask her oncologist to consider the following medications: Emend, Zofran, and Compazine. Emend is a wonder drug--it works on the vomiting center in the brain. The Zofran works on receptor sites in the stomach. Compazine is for breakthrough nausea. These meds might cause constipation so check with the nurses about what to take for that.

I have had 5 rounds of Taxol/Carboplatin and have an extremely sensitive stomach. I vomited 24/7 for the first two months of my pregnancy. Yet, these drugs worked for me.

nempark
Posts: 683
Joined: Apr 2010

Your mom did well with surgery. She will also do very well with the chemo. As some of the friends said there are wonder drugs out there for the vomiting and other stomach issues. Tell mom to keep positive and she will be fine. Check out the other sisters who are being positive and doing well. I know it must be very difficult for you and for your mom, but we have to keep calm and fight this monster. I send you peace, love and comfort and pray that our Great Creator will give you both the wisdom to cope with this beast. Hugs, June

BobbieAnn
Posts: 11
Joined: Aug 2010

Mom's first treatment is next Friday 9/10/10. Everything seems pretty overwhelming right now. Her nurse told us that we need to remember that there ARE good side effects to chemo.

I look forward to any other support or suggestions anyone has and thank you for the ones that you have offered.

Best wishes to all

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 2064
Joined: Nov 2009

My best to your mom, Bobbie Ann.

You mom sounds strong and with a daughter behind her she will do well. I never stopped working while I was on chemo. My side effect was extreme tiredness which I would get about two to three days after chemo. I would just lay down in bed and watch tv or fall asleep.

You may want to ask if she is up on all her flu shots and if she should get them prior to treatment. Also, are they giving your mom a port? I am not sure the type of chemo your mom is getting. A port is easier on your veins.

Hugs to you and your mom!

Kathy

wannaknow
Posts: 12
Joined: Apr 2010

My onco told me its very rare. and mine started in my uterus, then to ovaries, 1 lymph node and then down to cervix. I have had 5 chemo treatments....my last one is on the 13th of September...then will have radiation 5 days a week for 5 weeks. OH BOY! lol. i must say, ive done really well with the chemo..carbo/taxol. I take zofran for 5 days every 8 hrs starting the day after chemo..they give me zofran right before the chemo in an IV. I did have to have a shot to raise my WBC counts after my 4th treatment. not bad! I have a 12 year old daughter that i must be here for to raise, so i shall !! :-) I never did ask my onco what stage i was..i read stage 3. in a book considering it went to one lymph node and other girly parts, but not the bladder or bowel. I had gone for 3 yrs trying to get a hysterectomy....had a cyst for 3 yrs, no symptoms. then last thanksgiving i spotted for 5 weeks...even had an endometrium biopsy and it was neg.!!!! I had asked how in the world could it have been missed with that! Onco said imagine an orange,with a biopsy we only get a tiny piece. I had a transvaginal as well and there were no indicators of uterine cancer either! Very misleading with pap's and biopsy tests! all my pap's were normal too...and the last one i had was 2 weeks before having my surgery! We need to spread the word somehow ladies! I dont even know what the color is for this type of cancer! so i go with teal. Id LOVE to learn more about this type of cancer, i.e. how often does it come back once in remission? stuff like that.
Thanks for all your help!
Love, Kim

wannaknow
Posts: 12
Joined: Apr 2010

Just wanted to give my personal advise on what helped me while having constapation during chemo...my Onco told me to take miralax..its over the counter and very gental, yet works wonders!!! I took one capful with water starting 3 days before my chemo day, and one capful for the next 5 days thereafter. not to worry, it only makes you "go" as normally would. and no tummy issures with pain of gas from it.
Love, Kim

Ro10's picture
Ro10
Posts: 1579
Joined: Jan 2009

I see you joined in April. Glad you made it through you chemo treatments. Good luck through the radiation treatments. I had only tiredness from the radiation, and towards the last weeks, had some nausea. Never any vomiting, but just nausea. I attributed part of the nausea to all the fluids I drank before the treatment, so I would have a full bladder when the treatment was done.

Peach is the color for uterine cancer, but teal is the color for ovarian cancer. I too have Stage III-C UPSC. September is Gynecological Cancer Awareness Month. You are right that we need to spread the word. I wear my peach bracelet, and have given family members and friends a peach bracelet that says "Say It, Fight It, Cure It". I ordered them on the internet from "Choose Hope" site. It brightens my day when I see one of them wearing it. My sister says she says a prayer for me each morning when she puts it on, and each night when she takes it off. Prayer is a powerful thing.

I hope you continue do well and you are around many years for your daughter. In peace and caring.

BobbieAnn
Posts: 11
Joined: Aug 2010

Last Friday, 9/10/10 was mom's first chemo tx. She had a reaction to the Taxol which scared the crap out of both of us. The nurses were prepared. Apparently this happens approximately 10% of the time. They gave more steroids and benadryl and waited about an hour and started it again and she did fine. It was a very long day but she has done well since, other than diarrhea (just the opposite of the severe constipation she experienced after surgery). I guess we will keep both Miralax or Imodium on hand. She is extremely tired and has a fuzzy head, which is very frustrating for her. I think she also feels a little unsteady but is trying her best to walk as much as possible. I know that makes her feel better. Our weather in Missouri is so unpredictable, but currently is has been nice enough for her to walk outside.

I continue to read all of the posts and wish everyone the best.

Ro10's picture
Ro10
Posts: 1579
Joined: Jan 2009

I too had an immediate reaction to Taxol with my first dose. I think it scared the crap out of my husband, too. They gave me more steroids also. So I was really hyped up that night. They ended up giving me the dose at a slower rate, and I did okay with the other treatments. So my treatment days were very long, also. Hope your Mom is feeling better now. Continue to take it one day at a time. In peace and caring.

Mannhill
Posts: 3
Joined: Sep 2010

Hi. Your mom's story sounds similar to my mother. She was also recently diagnosed with UPSC (stage III) following a radical hysterectomy and removal of lymph nodes. She also developed a C. diff. infection while in hospital which kept her in for about 3 weeks. She's home now recovering from the infection and getting ready to hear from her doc tomorrow the specifics about chemo treatment. We're expecting 6 treatments with 3 weeks in between. My mom's initial reaction was "my life is over," but given a couple of days to process and think, she's turned the first corner and she's ready to take it on. Reading these threads makes me realize two things: there's a long road ahead and she's going to need us along the way, and there is lots of support out there from women who are just like our mom's. Let's stay positive and supportive, listen when they need it, and ask lot's of questions. I've already found that unless we ask questions we won't have the full story. Take care, and keep in touch.

Songflower's picture
Songflower
Posts: 631
Joined: Apr 2009

It sounds like you are doing a tremendous job helping your mother with this. Taxol often causes depression and some women take an antidepressant during therapy; it can really help you make it through it. I too had a problem with taxol; I had mostly pain but we learned to control it for the first week through drugs. I hated taking them, but as my daughter said, "Mom you are who they made these drugs for." And she is right. Keep a diary of questions and don't be afraid to take what makes your life easier at this time.

Prayers and love to you.

Diane

8isenough's picture
8isenough
Posts: 16
Joined: Aug 2010

I pray that you and your mom will remain strong and keep up the fight.There IS hope,and you and i & everyone who fights, have to remain positive and believe,for our mothers,sons,daughters,friends and all our sisters here at CSN.My mom was diagnosed w/ovarian cancer,now recurr and has been natious and extremely fatiqued.I too wish she was strong enough to be on this site.i will pray your mom,prayers and faith do make a difference.i am always tryin to find out info for my mom,shes too weak to do anything,i am new to csn,ive been under ov cancer board,but another sister directed me to stop here for some info,its very helpfull and everyone here is so awesome.Best Wishes thoughts and prayers!
Dominican Sisters of Hope- We even boast of our afflictions,knowing that affliction produces endurance,& endurance,proven character,and proven character,HOPE, and hope does not disappoint,because the love of god has been poured out into our hearts through the holy spirit that has been given to us. Romans 5: 3-5

adl1220
Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2010

Hello ladies, first my thoughts and prayers to you and your families suffering with cancer. I lost my mom 30 years ago to ovarian cancer so I've been very watchful for cancer over the years. I am almost 55 years of age and have regular exams/tests/ca125/ultrasounds/uterine biopsies/etc. All were negative but I started to have some heavy bleeding and some vaginal discharge. During a meeting with my gyn/onc he suggested a full hysterectomy that was going to be schedule for this summer, however, once I had the heavy bleed, went in for a d & c /ablation only to be diagnosed with this illness. I had the full hysterectomy last week 9/10/10 and did very well with the surgery. I meet with my gyn/onc on 9/22 and am scared to death - hands shaking, stomach turning, the works. I want to be optimistic and all my friends and family tell me I will get through this but I know how violent this type of uterine cancer is and am having a hard time thinking I will get through the chemo/radiation. Your thoughts, prayers and suggestions are very much welcomed. Anne

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